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Hit the Books

Inexpensive Web-based tools that will help you with your accounting tasks

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Fire your accountant! Well, maybe not, but you may not need to rely on him or her as much as you think. You can simplify paying your bills and receiving payments from clients with a little creative accounts-payable and -receivable. Many Web services offer inexpensive tools that will save you from some check-writing and trips to the bank. Take a look at your options:

X.com, formerly PayPal.com, is a familiar form of currency exchange for auction users, but did you know the company also offers business accounts? In addition to enabling you to send bills to customers, X.com will allow your customers to submit payments via your Web site and access a 24/7 customer service call center. Hoping to institute affiliate commissions, customer rebates or pay-to-surf rewards? X.com's "Batch Pay" feature allows you to make electronic payments via e-mail. In return for all these features, X.com charges a 1.9 percent fee on incoming payments.

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